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I love eating something nurturing and warming first thing in the morning, especially on cold mornings; but this dish is appropriate any time of the year. You could even use different grains according to the seasons and it’s a healthy choice, especially for those with a compromised digestion or anyone that just wants to enhance digestive function. 

The following comes from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon.

Five Grain Cereal Ingredients – makes 10 cups 2 cups wheat or spelt (she doesn’t specify, but I’ve used wheat berries and flakes and both are good) 2 cups millet 2 cups short grain brown rice 2 cups barley or oats (I use oat groats, but rolled oats can be used as well) 2 cups split peas or lentils

Note:  The above five grains are mentioned in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine

The cookbook directions say to mix all the grains together and grind coarsely.  I prefer to grind each grain separately and finely and then combine everything in a jar (you can grind it according to your preference.)  The cereal can now be stored in the refrigerator and used to make the 5 grain porridge (recipe follows) or a side dish. It makes enough for 10 one cup servings.

Five Grain Porridge 1 cup five grain cereal mix 1 cup warm filtered water plus 2 tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk ***(for those with an allergy to dairy – use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in place of the whey etc.) ½ tsp. salt 1 cup filtered water 1-2 egg yolks (I leave our the egg yolks)

Combine the cereal mix with the water mixture and leave in a warm place for 7-24 hours.  I combine it in the morning or early afternoon and leave it to soak overnight.  The longer you leave it the more sour the flavor.  The next morning, bring an additional cup of water to a boil with the sea salt.  Add to the soaked cereal, cover and simmer till cooked.  The cookbook recipe says to cook for several minutes, I like to cook it very slow over low heat and usually add more liquid than the recipe calls for, so it’s really according to your taste.  Sometimes I also use a non dairy milk (almond, cashew, coconut etc.)

When cooked, serve with butter, cream, milk of your choice, and a natural sweetener (agave, maple syrup, date sugar, raw honey) and/or fresh fruit. If you prefer savory, saute some vegetables, add roasted ground nuts or seeds, (flax, pumpkin, sunflower, etc.) toasted sesame oil.  I topped it with chopped walnuts and cooked apples in the picture. You’re the cook and creator, so create according to your own taste and Enjoy!.

NOTE:  Grains contain phytic acid in their outer layer, which can combine with minerals in the body such as calcium, zinc etc. and inhibit their absorbtion.  Soaking and fermenting grains neutralizes the phytic acid.

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